Friday, August 12, 2016

Island Names - Caribbean

Hello, readers!

At long last, day 5 of island week! Despite the relative lateness of this post, I'm happy to have produced 5 new posts this week!

Onto the Caribbean!

Salamanca (Colombia)
This island is named after a province of Spain, but many Americans will recognize it as the main character's name from Walk Two Moons, or as the last name of a drug kingpin on Breaking Bad. Either way, this name makes an impression! Salamanca is lovely and feminine, if a bit of a mouthful. But she'll always be the only one in her class!

Cuba (Cuba)
A nation rich with culture and history, Cuba's recent change in relationship with the US has made this name more enticing for American namers. The island's name comes from the Taíno for "where the land is fertile" - a meaning full of opportunity. While actor Cuba Gooding Jr. brought this name to light, it's definitely an option that works for both boys and girls.

Beata (Dominican Republic)
With Beatrice rising up the ranks, other names with similar positive vibes are bound to follow. Beata means "blessed", and can be pronounced Bee-ah-tah or Bay-ah-tah. There are a few saints with the name, but it's rarely used outside of Slavic countries.

Pedro (Jamaica)
80 kilometers south of Jamaica, the Pedro Bank sits, daring ships to pass through its dangerous rocks and reefs (historically, the area is prone to shipwrecks). But Pedro is hardly a frightening name - it's one of the most popular male names in the Spanish-speaking world, and ranks at #367 in the US. It's the Spanish variation of Peter, meaning - coincidentally - "stone".

Pearl (Nicaragua)
A vintage name with all sorts of desirable traits: the connection to nature, the dazzling jewelry reference, the rare use today, and the feminine sound. The Pearl Cays in Nicaragua are home to endangered turtles, just to make it even more adorable. Pearl is also a great alternative to Ruby, today!

Craig (Trinidad and Tobago)
Another rocky name, Craig has fallen rather far from its popularity height in the mid-twentieth century. While it's still in the top 1000, it will probably fall off over the next few years - which is a great thing if you want something recognizable but uncommon! Craig also has plenty of namesakes in Hollywood and in athletics.

Eustatia (British Virgin Islands)
Though it means "good place to stay", Eustatia doesn't have many guests in its background (or am I pushing the metaphor a little too hard?) Next to Eugenia or Euphemia, however, it fits in well. The similar male name Eustace ranks briefly in the 1880's, but overall, eu- names are pretty much out.

Ginger (British Virgin Islands)
Check this out, readers - Ginger Island is currently for sale! Its breathtaking views and amazing location aside, it's got a fabulous name. Ginger has historically been a nickname for Virginia, but it could easily work on its own today (perhaps as an honorific?) It's sweet, spunky, and sympathetic - a very friendly name!

Montserrat (United Kingdom)
Another popular name for Spanish speakers, Montserrat translates to "serrated mountain", referring to a mountain range near Barcelona. In the United States, it's already reached #650, having been on the list since 2005. The island itself became a getaway for Western musicians, and is also known for its active volcano.

Eleuthera (Bahamas)
Looking for a totally original pathway to the nickname Ellie? Eleuthera is your answer! It means "freedom", and it feels elusive, ethereal, everlasting (too much?) Eleuterio is the masculine form, used occasionally in Spain and Italy, but Eleuthera is gorgeous and ought to rank on the top 1000 sometime - it's just too pretty!

Tell me your favorites in the comments!

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